The Dutch Heart Health community intervention 'Hartslag Limburg': results of an effect study at individual level

G.M. Ronda, P.T. van Assema, M.J.J.M. Candel, E. Ruland, M. Steenbakkers, J.W. van Ree, J. Brug

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Abstract

The Dutch Heart Health community intervention 'Hartslag Limburg': results of an effect study at individual level.

Ronda G, Van Assema P, Candel M, Ruland E, Steenbakkers M, Van Ree J, Brug J.

Department of Health Education and Promotion, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. g.ronda@gvo.unimaas.nl

'Hartslag Limburg' (Dutch for Heartbeat Limburg), a regional cardiovascular diseases (CVD) prevention program, integrates a community strategy and a high-risk strategy to reduce CVD risk behaviors. The present paper focuses on the effects of the community intervention on fat intake and physical activity. The project was based on community organization principles and health education theories and methods. In order to implement the intervention, nine local Health Committees were set up, each organizing activities that facilitate and encourage people to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A pre-test-post-test control group design with two post-tests was used to evaluate the intervention. At baseline, representative random cohort research samples were selected in the Maastricht region and in a control region. Data on fat intake and physical activity, and on the psychosocial determinants of these behaviors, were gathered by means of mail surveys. The present study indicates that the intervention had a significant effect on fat reduction, especially among respondents aged <or=48 years (median age). Respondents in the Maastricht region were also more realistic about their fat intake at post-test as compared with the control region. Only a limited effect on intentions to increase physical activity was found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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